Choir has to rehearse outside as petition urges lifting of restrictions

The Pakefield Singers choir, led by Vetta Wise, rehearsing outside.

The Pakefield Singers choir, led by Vetta Wise, rehearsing outside. - Credit: Mick Howes

Members of a popular choir have been braving the elements to rehearse outside as they campaign to sing indoors again.

The 65-strong Pakefield Singers choir, led by Vetta Wise, is backing calls for restrictions to be lifted.

While people can now meet indoors, thousands of choirs across England have been hit by a change in government guidance.

With non-professional singing only able to take place in groups of up to six people indoors, Pakefield Singers - in common with other choirs across England - have been rehearsing outdoors.

As singers across the country have launched an online petition calling for the Government to change the rules, the Lowestoft-based group has backed calls for the government to retract this guidance and allow choirs of any size to rehearse indoors providing social distancing is maintained with Covid secure measures in place.

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To reinforce this, the choir has urged their supporters to sign the national petition - which has already attracted 54,650 signatures - and highlight their plight.

Choir member Judith Betts said: “Many other leisure groups were able to open up indoors on May 17 and the choir thought we would be the same.

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"However the day after they said we could only sing in groups of six - and six is not a choir!

“We had been rehearsing quite safely indoors at Pakefield Church in November 2020 with distancing, washing hands and wearing masks – the latter which although not nice – we agreed to do it because we love singing."

Mrs Betts added: "It annoys us and seems unfair that other leisure groups are now allowed to do their activities indoors while we are not.

"Last week, for example, we met outdoors and it was bitterly cold.”

The group is rehearsing for a free outdoor concert that is planned to take place on the field in front of Pakefield Church Hall on July 10 from 3.30pm.

Mrs Betts added: "We invite the public to come and enjoy an afternoon of singing as a concert of light, easy listening songs together with some classics, is performed.

“The Government’s decision has caused much upset for us and within the amateur music sector as a whole.

"However, we are a resilient group.”

To sign the petition search ‘Petition to Allow non-professional singing in groups of more than six indoors’

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